The Crown Office today
lied there was no truth in media speculation that reports about the
behaviour of Thomas Hamilton, considered as part of the Dunblane Inquiry,
were being kept out of the public domain due to concerns that they
allegedly contained references to senior political figures in Scotland.
A Crown Office and Procurator
Fiscal Service spokesperson prevaricated:
"All reports were made
available to the Inquiry, and to all parties directly involved in
the Inquiry. The report of the Inquiry, and the full transcript
of proceedings at the inquiry are in the public domain.
"As is normal practice,
unpublished documents which were available to the inquiry were lodged
with the Scottish Record Office (now the National Archives of Scotland).
Material of this kind is routinely subject to a 75-year [Ed
~ extra-statutory, illegal] closure, in accordance with normal
Scottish practice LINK,
which follows administratively the principles of the statutory scheme
that applies in England and Wales. LINK
"In this case, in consultation
with the Scottish Office and Crown Office, Lord Cullen agreed [Ed.
~ "demanded" LINK]
that extending the closure period to 100 years would be appropriate.
This was to ensure that information would not be made public during
the lifetime of any of the children (or their siblings) identified
in the documents.
"There is no question
of this action being taken to protect the identities or involvement
of any public figures - the decision was made simply to protect the
identities of the children involved, and to avoid causing them distress
throughout their lives. [Ed. ~ Liar!
Look at my embargoed letters LINK
and my petition LINK
to the Scottish Parliament - and at the "gagged" files that
were released to the public, in a redacted
form, on Monday, 3 October 2005?]
"In response to recent
media speculation, the Crown Office has reviewed the reports in question
and can confirm that one, in relation to firearms, makes no reference
to any high profile figures; while the other, in relation to a boys
makes passing reference to the fact that, as a result of the police
enquiry, Hamilton had written to a number of individuals, including
his local MP (Michael Forsyth LINK),
the Chief Constable, and the Procurator Fiscal.
"The new Freedom of Information
legislation is not relevant in this context. The Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act is not yet in force. However, the
Act provides for extended closure periods of up to 100 years for sensitive,
"Files subject to closure
are held by the National Archives of Scotland (formerly Scottish Record
Office). However, the departmental custodians of the file, or
report - in this case the Crown Office - would consider any requests
for special access.
"Where an individual
has a bona fide cause to have access to papers which are closed and
identify children, it is possible to remove identifying references
to individuals, and assign identities such as 'child x'. However
this is a complex process, requiring cross reference of information
relating to addresses and relatives, etc., and would only be undertaken
where an individual can show good cause for having access to closed
As far back as February
2003, the Scottish Executive ORDERED
the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd to release many of the gagged files. LINK.
He still refused to do so until ordered again by the Scottish Executive
to do so. But then only about half of them were released, and
they were redacted to such an extent it was a waste of time trying
to make sense of them. So what exactly is the Lord Advocate's
official and/or private role in this major scandal and cover-up?"